January 19 - March 5, 2010


Barns,copyright Susan Forbes Hansen

Tree:Warren, Maine, copyright Susan Forbes Hansen

"Barns" and "Tree: Warren, Maine"
by Susan Forbes Hansen

The Black and White Season

Photographs by Susan Forbes Hansen

Homer Babbidge Library Gallery on the Plaza
Curator: Jean Nelson

If you know Susan Forbes Hansen’s name, it’s probably because she’s been broadcasting folk-music programs on the radio for more than 30 years. But she’s been taking pictures since her father gave her a Brownie box camera for her ninth birthday, and she’s rarely without a camera in her hand or her bag or her car or her kayak.

Hansen’s black and white winter-image work began simply enough— she started using the photos for her holiday greeting cards. Over the years, some recipients collected these 5 x 7 pictures, and others asked for enlargements. Priscilla Herdman, Anne Hills, and Cindy Mangsen chose her winter scenes for the covers of their CDs, Voices of Winter and At the Turning of The Year. Non-winter photos have been used as CD-art by Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, Cindy Kallet, and Kallet/ Epstein/Cicone, and two images have been used in The Cindy Kallet Songbook.

Although Hansen doesn’t put her cameras away in the more colorful seasons, she loves the black and white season. And although she has entered the digital age, she thinks the old technology of high-speed film and red filters works best to represent the beauty of winter. The foliage is gone, the leafless trees are nearly transparent, and the shapes< of streams and hills and old roads are exposed. Winter’s sharp contrasts and limited palette have always drawn her out into the cold woods and trails and meadows.

Susan Forbes Hansen has hosted The Sunday Night Folk Festival on WHUS at The University of Connecticut since August 1979. Other programs have included Valley Folk at WFCR from 1985 to 2007 and In Town at WNPR from 1987 to 1989.